I was first introduced to Chris Smith’s work back in 2013 when he released his little ebook, The Virtue of Dialogue. I immediately held an appreciation for his work and perspective of the Christian life.
I continued to follow his work with Slow Church in 2014, noting it was one of the top books I had read in my Christian life. Lastly, I enjoyed his Reading for the Common Good back in 2016. So, one can imagine that I was looking forward to the release of his newest work this April, How the Body of Christ Talks. Continue reading
This past week the world learned of the fires that burst aflame in the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. There have been a lot of responses across the spectrum, both amongst religious and non-religious folk.
I myself have been interested in the response of religious folk, Christians especially. In particular, I came across a social media post in which, on the day of the fire, someone responded with a paraphrase of Acts 17:24: God does not dwell in temples made with hands.
From this post, and my subsequent interaction with the person, what he was basically saying was this: “God doesn’t care about buildings. There are more important things, spiritual things, things of the Spirit.”
Something of that effect, as far as I can make out. Continue reading
Our world is riddled with violence. From verbal to physical, personal violence to collective violence such as war. It is everywhere. Our neighborhoods, the news, social media, across national lines, within national lines and more.
So it’s difficult to even consider living a life of non-violence.
Yet, that is the place I found myself some years ago. I was pulled slowly toward the gift of non-violence. And, so, I am now an advocate of non-violence across all areas of life.
Now, let me make clear that, in championing non-violence, I do not consider myself “better” than others. Honestly, I don’t. And if I were to, I’d need to watch it. This is simply the journey I’m on and the position of which I am an advocate. I want non-violence to affect my personal life and I want it to affect the way I live in society.
In all, I have chosen non-violence as a very practical way to live out the peace, or shalom and well-being, of God.
There are three reasons as to why I hold to and look to practice non-violence as best I can. Continue reading
Not too long ago, I read through the book of Leviticus. We don’t usually run to Leviticus as a place for spiritual nourishment. I suppose we could summarize it as a book of sacrifice and strange laws. At least they’re strange laws for us today.
We may recall the Day of Atonement, which is told of in ch.16. Yet there is still so much about linen undergarments, bulls, goats, blood and bathing in that chapter alone that we may still find it difficult to connect with.
Leviticus is demanding. It demands our full attention to the details to understand what’s going on. And it’s those demanding details flowing out of an ancient culture that seem to bog us down. Continue reading
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the book Revelation the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure why, initially. I think it followed my Immanuel sermon a few weeks back. I continued to think about the presence of God being with us (Immanuel = God with us). So my mind went to Revelation. God with us in Christ, as seen through the pages of Revelation.
I’ve continued to think a bit more about John’s apocalypse as I’ve been preparing some material for a New Testament course I will teach. Continue reading